As soon as you walk into our lovely terrace-house rental you will see a large surface space covered by white tiles. Beginning at the entrance, going into the dining area, through to the livingarea, sweeping into the kitchen and concluding in the laundry, we have white tiles. While this consistency of floor covering adds to the open plan design, anyone who has lived with white tiles before will be able to pre-empt my dilemma… they are a nightmare to keep clean! Every time a strand of hair or a bread crumb lands on the floor, the tiles act as a blank canvas to highlight any piece of filth on the floor. Not only that but if there is a drop of water on the tiles it will act as a magnet to any piece of dust in the near facinity which will gravitate straight to the droplet, leaving an obvious black spot on the relatively clean floor.
Last week we had a house inspection. After spending a couple of hours cleaning the floors earlier in the week I was baffled to see how much I still had to sweep up on the inspection day. White tiles may look great clean, but while that only lasts for 3.2 minutes they end up looking very average for most of the time.
Every human is "fearfully and wonderfully made" (Psalm 139.14). It's like we are all created as a beautiful clean canvas just like the white tiles. And yet as time passes we soon become dirty and covered by things that are not so wonderful: selfish ambition, negative thoughts towards another person, greed, etc. Very quickly we have dirt and filth all over us. Anything that separates us from God contributes to the filth in our lives. The difference between us and my white tile floor is that no matter how hard I scrub and how much time I put into cleaning myself, I can never make myself clean again.
But that's where the powerful love of Jesus comes in. No matter what we do or how filthy we become, Jesus took all of our sin upon himself when he hung on the cross 2000 years ago. He is the ultimate cleaning agent. When we go to Him and ask for forgiveness, He takes away all our filth and makes us 'whiter than snow' (Psalm 51.7). He created us and yet when we turned away from Him it was He who stretched out His arms towards us. What a gracious act! What a merciful God!
This article was written by Linda Bailey
Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.